|Publication number||US5973375 A|
|Application number||US 08/869,524|
|Publication date||Oct 26, 1999|
|Filing date||Jun 6, 1997|
|Priority date||Jun 6, 1997|
|Also published as||DE69835183D1, DE69835183T2, EP0883184A2, EP0883184A3, EP0883184B1|
|Publication number||08869524, 869524, US 5973375 A, US 5973375A, US-A-5973375, US5973375 A, US5973375A|
|Inventors||James P. Baukus, Lap-Wai Chow, William M. Clark, Jr.|
|Original Assignee||Hughes Electronics Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (58), Non-Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (55), Classifications (12), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is related to application Ser. No. 08/532,326, filed Sep. 22, 1995.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to the prevention of reverse engineering of integrated circuits (ICs), and more particularly to security techniques in which the conductive or nonconductive nature of interconnections between circuit elements is made camouflaged.
2. Description of the Related Art
Several techniques have been used to reverse engineer Ics. Electron (e)-beam probing with a scanning electron microscope (SEM), either through SEM photographs or voltage contrast analysis, is a standard reverse engineering mechanism, although secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), spreading resistance analysis and various other techniques have also been used. A general description of e-beam probing is provided in Lee, "Engineering a Device for Electron-beam Probing", IEEE Design & Test of Computers, 1989, pages 36-49.
Numerous ways to frustrate unwanted attempts to reverse engineer an IC have also been developed. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,766,516 to Ozdemir et al. (assigned to Hughes Electronics, the assignee of the present invention), additional circuit elements that do not contribute toward the desired circuit function are added to an IC, and disguised with the visible appearance of being an ordinary part of the IC. The elements have physical modifications that are not readily visible but cause them to function in a different manner, inhibiting the proper functioning of the IC in case of an attempted copying or other unauthorized use. When the apparent function rather than the actual function of the disguised elements is copied, the resulting circuit will not operate properly.
In U.S. Pat. No. 4,583,011 to Pechar a pseudo-MOS (metal oxide semiconductor) device is given a depletion implant that is not readily visible to a copier, who would infer from the device's location in the circuit that it would be enhancement-mode. A somewhat related approach is taken in French patent publication no. 2 486 717 by Bassett et al., published Jan. 15, 1982; the circuit doping is controlled so that some devices which appear to be transistors actually function as either open or short circuits. And in U.S. Pat. No. 4,603,381 to Guttag the memory of a central processing unit is programmed by the doping of its channel regions, rather than by the presence or absence of gates, to protect permanently programmed software.
Instead of disguising circuit elements, some systems have a mechanism to protect the circuit from operating until a correct access code has been entered. Such systems are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,139,864 to Schulman and 4,267,578 to Vetter.
Each of the above protection schemes requires additional processing and/or uses additional circuitry that is dedicated to security and does not contribute to the basic functioning of the circuit. This increases the cost of circuit production and complicates the circuitry.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,799,096 to Koeppe uses doped implants to connect the sources and drains of different transistors to improve circuit reliability and testability, but the circuit function can be determined from the transistor arrangement. U.S. Pat. No. 5,138,197 to Kuwana connects different transistors in an address decoder array with doped implants, but circuit functions can be determined from clearly visible elements such as gate electrodes and circuit interconnects. Japanese patent publication 58-190064 to Sawase provides a metalization over a diffused source to block light from the source/substrate junction and thus reduce leakage current. While this tends to camouflage the source, the nature of the circuit can still be determined from its visible elements.
In related application Ser. No. 08/532,326, filed Sep. 22, 1995 by the present inventors, heavily doped implant interconnections that are difficult for a reverse engineer to detect are used to provide interconnections among the transistors of various types of logic cells, with the pattern of interconnections determining each cell's logic function. The transistors of the different cells are arranged in a common pattern and a uniform pattern of interconnections among transistors is provided for each cell; different logic functions are implemented by interrupting some of the interconnections with the addition of opposite conductivity channel stop implants. The channel stops are quite small, making the interrupted and thereby non-conductive interconnections appear the same to a reverse engineer as the conductive interconnections. CMOS digital circuits such as NAND and NOR gates are camouflaged so that they appear identical under an optical microscope. However, when all of the device layers on top of the bare semiconductor substrate have been removed by a reverse engineer and an etchant applied to the underlying substrate, the pattern of channel stops may be brought out by selective etching of the substrate. If an etchant is used which etches N and P type material at different rates (typically N-doped material will etch faster than P-doped), a height differential or "step" will be formed at the boundaries between the channel stop and the adjacent oppositely doped interconnection line. If they are large enough, such steps can be detected by either optical microscopes or SEMs, thereby revealing which interconnections have blocking channel stops and which are true conductive interconnections.
The present invention seeks to provide a camouflaged circuit structure that enjoys the advantages of the channel stops used in the related application, but is not subject to reverse engineering by selective etching of the substrate surface.
The presence or absence of an electrical connection between two spaced conductive implants having a common conductivity in a semiconductor substrate, such as the implanted sources or drains of a pair of adjacent MOSFETs, is camouflaged by establishing steps relative to the substrate surface at the boundaries of the interconnection area. These intentional steps mask the steps that result from a reverse engineering selective etch, preventing a reverse engineer from using either an optical microscope or a SEM to determine whether steps have been produced by the selective etch.
The intentional steps are preferably formed by having an insulating layer, preferably a field oxide formed by a local oxidation of silicon (LOCOS) process, extend into the substrate above and up to the boundaries of the interconnection area. An electrical connection between the two implants is made with a buried layer immediately below the field oxide having the same conductivity as the spaced implants, while the implants can be isolated from each other by means of a buried layer below the field oxide of opposite conductivity to the implants; the latter buried layer together with the field oxide inhibits current flow between the implants. Thus, while some of the transistors will be connected to each other and other transistors will be isolated from each other, a reverse engineer cannot tell whether or not any two adjacent transistors are actually connected.
The invention is applicable to both N-channel and Pchannel devices. In one particular implementation the camouflaged connection/isolation is provided in a central area that extends between the two transistors and is covered with a field oxide, with the areas lateral to the central area provided with isolating implants and no field oxide.
These and other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, taken together with the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a logic circuit to which the invention is applicable;
FIG. 2a is a sectional view of an IC substrate showing a camouflaged circuit connection between two doped implant regions in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2b is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2a, but with aamouflaged electrical isolation between the two implant regions;
FIGS. 3a and 3b are sectional views respectively showing the circuit structures of FIGS. 2a and 2b with the top layers removed by a reverse engineer;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of an IC substrate with two CMOS transistor pairs formed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the section line 5--5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the section line 6--6 of FIG. 3 for the case of a camouflaged conductive interconnection between the two transistors;
FIG. 7 and 8 are sectional views taken along the section lines 7--7 and 8--8, respectively, of FIG. 4;
FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 are sectional views similar to FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, respectively, but with isolating buried layers between two transistors;
FIG. 12 is a plan view similar to FIG. 4, but with all of the transistors implanted into the substrate without a well and one pair of transistors electrically isolated from each other; and
FIG. 13 is a plan view similiar to FIG. 4, but with all of the transistors implanted into a well within the substrate and the transistors of one pair electrically isolated from each other.
Related application Ser. No. 08/532,326 camouflages digital logic cells by arranging all of the transistors for each of the cells in a uniform "sea" of transistors in which the boundaries between different cells are not apparent, by arranging the transistors within different cells that have the same number of transistors but different logic functions in the same geometric layout so that the cell functions cannot be determined by the transistor geometries, by using implants that are made electrically conductive by heavy doping and are not readily discernable for intracell connections, and by providing the same geometric layout of intracell interconnections for different logic cells so that the cell functions cannot be determined even if the interconnections are determined by a reverse engineer. A uniform pattern of interconnections is achieved by providing implants for all potential interconnections within each cell, and disabling unwanted interconnections for a given cell with narrow implanted channel stops of opposite conductivity. The channel stops are even more difficult to discern than are the implanted interconnections, yielding a still higher level of protection. Heavily doped implants with a common geometric layout and channel stop interruptions were also used for intercell as well as intracell connections.
The present invention retains all of these features and advantages, and in addition makes it even more difficult to detect the channel stops, and also to detect whether implanted circuit elements are electrically connected or isolated from each other even if a reverse engineer uses a selective etch that removes N and P doped areas at different etch rates.
The invention is applicable to many different kinds of digital circuits, such as various types of logic gates. Using common gates such as OR and AND gates as building blocks, many different types of logic circuitry can be designed. FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a conventional three-input OR gate circuit, which represents just one of the many circuits to which the invention is applicable. Three P-channel transistors 2, 4 and 6 are connected in series between a positive voltage terminal 8 and an inverted output 10, and three N-channel transistors 12, 14 and 16 are connected in parallel between a negative voltage terminal 18 (which can be designated ground) and the inverted output 10. Input terminals 20, 22 and 24 for three separate inputs are connected to the gates of respective P-channel/N-channel transistor pairs.
The signal at inverted output 10 represents a NOR function. To convert this to an OR output, an inverter 26 inverts the signal at output 10 to produce an OR output at terminal 28. The inverter is conventional, consisting of a P-channel transistor 30 and an N-channel transistor 32 that are connected in series between the positive and negative voltage terminals 8 and 18, with the gates of transistors 30 and 32 receiving an input from inverted output 10, and output terminal 28 tapped from the series junction of transistor 30 and 32.
FIGS. 2a and 2b illustrate how the presence or absence of an electrical connection between two implanted regions of an IC can be camouflaged by making them appear the same to a reverse engineer, even if a selective etch is used.
Two heavily doped implants 34a and 34b are shown extending in from the surface of a circuit region in a semiconductor substrate 36. The implants 34a, 34b are illustrated as being doped N+, with the substrate's circuit region lightly doped P-. One of the heavily doped conductive implants 34a, 34b could be the source or drain of a MOSFET, while the other implant could be the source or drain of an adjacent MOSFET. However, no limitation to MOSFETs is intended, and in general the implants 34a, 34b could be any conductive regions when it is desired to camouflage whether or not they are electrically connected to each other.
An electrically insulating layer 38 extends into the substrate and between the two implants 34a and 34b. Insulating layer 38 is preferably an oxide of the substrate material, and is typically formed as the field oxide resulting from a conventional local oxidation of silicon (LOCOS) process. Immediately below the insulating layer 38 is a buried layer 40 that is doped N+ and forms a conductive path between the two implants 34a and 34b. The buried layer 40 forms junctures with each of the implants, and extends upward to the juncture of the implants with the insulating layer 38 in the vicinity of the substrate surface 42. It is not necessary that the implants, buried layer 40 and insulating layer 38 meet exactly at the substrate surface; the insulating layer can extend somewhat into the lateral edge of the implants so that the buried layer does not quite reach the substrate surface, although typically the implants will be self-aligned with the insulating layer (as described below).
Although the circuit structure of FIG. 2a has N+ conductive implants set in a P- circuit region of the substrate, the invention is also applicable to a reversal of doping conductivities. In that case two P+ implants would be set in an N- substrate circuit region, and connected to each other with a P+ buried layer.
FIG. 2b illustrates the preferred structure employed by the invention when it is desired to electrically isolate two conductive implants 34a' and 34b' from each other, rather than to connect them as in FIG. 2a. An insulating layer 38', similar to insulating layer 38 of FIG. 2a, extends between the two implants 34a' and 34b'. In this case a buried layer 44 of opposite conductivity to the implants 34a' and 34b' underlies the field oxide 38' and extends between the implants. This is the usual P field implant that underlies the field oxide in the conventional LOCOS process used to isolate N+ implants from each other. The structure of FIG. 2b by itself is not new; the novelty resides in the fact that the structure of FIG. 2b has the same appearance to a reverse engineer as the structure of FIG. 2a, and therefore the reverse engineer will not be able to tell whether the N+ implants are electrically connected or electrically isolated from each other. The manner in which this camouflage works is illustrated in FIGS. 3a and 3b.
FIG. 3a illustrates the structure of FIG. 2a after a reverse engineer has removed everything above the semiconductor (typically silicon) and exposed the bare semiconductor for selective etching. Selective etching is used in reverse engineering to bring out the boundary of different diffusion or implant types at the silicon surface due to their different etch rates. With the invention, however, the removal of the field oxide 38 leaves "steps" 46a and 46b at either end of the buried connector implant 40, at the upper end of its junctures with the implants 34a and 34b in the vicinity of the substrate surface 42. These "steps" are abrupt downward slopes of the bare silicon surface relative to the substrate surface 42, and are established by the contour of the field oxide layer which has just been removed.
Field oxide grown with a LOCOS process will eat into the surface of the silicon substrate typically by an amount equal to 0.44 times the total oxide thickness. Since the field oxide thickness in a standard submicron CMOS process is about 0.5 micrometer (micron), after removing the field oxide and exposing the bare silicon surface the steps 46a and 46b at the edge of the removed field oxide will be about 0.2 microns deep. However, the junction depth of all implants with submicron CMOS processes is normally about 0.2-0.3 microns (except for the P or N well junction). Any difference in etch rate between the P field implant 44 and the buried conductive layer implant 40 will therefore be less than 0.2-0.3 microns, and will be masked by the existing step of about 0.2 microns established by the field oxide.
The substrate depth after a selective etch which removes N-doped material at a faster rate than P-doped material is illustrated in FIG. 3a by dashed lines, with dashed line 48 representing the surface of the P- substrate circuit region, and dashed line 50 the surface of the N+ implants and buried layer. After the etch has been completed the steps 52a and 52b at the facing edges of the remainder of N+ implants 34a and 34b have a slope and depth that is still influenced mostly by the slope and depth of the original steps 46a and 46b as they existed prior to the etch.
FIG. 3b illustrates the results of selective etching for the electrically isolating P field buried layer 44. The steps 46a' and 46b' at the edges of N+ implants 34a' and 34b' prior to etching are essentially equal in slope and depth to the steps 46a and 46b for the conductive buried layer 40 of FIG. 3a, and the dashed line 48' representing the post-etch surface of the P- circuit region is also essentially the same as dashed line surface 48. However, the post-etch surface of the P field implant (indicated by dashed line 50') is somewhat shallower than the post-etch surface 50 of the N+ conductive buried layer in FIG. 3a. This results in post-etch steps 52a' and 52b' that are not quite as deep as the post-etch steps 52a and 52b. This difference in post-etch step depths is less than what would normally be expected from the selective nature of the etchant, since the upper edges of steps 52a and 52b are established by the relatively large etch depths of the N+ material in implants 34a and 34b, whereas the upper edges of post-etch steps 52a' and 52b' are established by the relatively lesser depth of the P field etch and are thus higher than for steps 52a and 52b. The result is that after selective etching there will not be any obviously different trace, along the boundaries of the area underlying the removed field oxide, between the N+ buried channel implant 40 and the P field implant 44. Any difference will be slight enough that the presence of an N+ buried connector layer instead of the usual P field implant cannot be detected by either an optical microscope or an SEM after selective etching.
FIGS. 4-7 illustrate the application of the invention to MOSFET transistors formed on a semiconductor substrate 54. The substrate is illustrated as having a primary P-doping conductivity, with N-channel MOSFETs T1 and T2 formed directly in the bulk of the substrate, and a pair of P-channel MOSFETs T3 and T4 formed within a circuit region established by an N- well 56 in the substrate. Transistors T1, T2, T3 and T4 have respective sources S1, S2, S3 and S4, drains D1, D2, D3 and D4, and polysilicon gates G1, G2, G3 and G4 overlying transistor channels between their respective sources and drains. Transistors T1 and T2 are adjacent to each other, as are transistors T3 and T4. In conventional, uncamouflaged circuits any connections between T1 and T2 and between T3 and T4 would be made by upper metalization layers, and would thus be readily apparent to a reverse engineer. Each transistor would be entirely surrounded by field oxide, which would isolate the adjacent transistors from each other through the substrate and allow for connections between them only through the metalization.
The transistors T1 and T2 are separated by a central region C, which extends between the central portions of D1 and S2 and is bounded laterally by regions A and B extending between the lateral portions of D1 and S2 on opposite sides of region C. Region C is covered with a field oxide layer, with either a buried conductive N+ layer electrically connecting D1 and S2 below the field oxide, or a buried P field implant isolating D1 from S2 below the field oxide. The substrate surface in regions A and B is bare, with no field oxide. Regions A and B have the same P field implant, whether or not a conductive N+ buried layer is provided in region C. Any electrical connection between D1 and S2 is therefore restricted to region C. The remainder of the surface of substrate 54 surrounding the transistors has the usual field oxide and underlying P field implant.
Since region C has a field oxide layer but all of the regions bounding it (A, B, D1 and S2) are without field oxide layers, steps are formed around the entire boundary of region C. These steps camouflage the nature of the doped layer below the field oxide and prevent a reverse engineer from determining whether it is a conductive N+ buried layer or an insulative P field implant, as described above.
The structure provided for P-channel transistors T3 and T4 is similar to that for T1 and T2, but with reverse conductivities. A central region F between D3 and S4 is covered with field oxide, with a buried P+ layer below the field oxide providing any conductive path between D3 and S4. Region F is laterally bounded by regions D and E, which are without field oxide layers and have N field implants which do not provide any conductive path between D3 and S4.
While in FIG. 4 the drain of one transistor is shown as being connectable to the source of its paired transistor, the transistor layouts could be rearranged to provide camouflaged connections between both sources or both drains. As shown in FIG. 4, the two P-channel transistors T3 and T4 could correspond to transistors 2 and 4 of FIG. 1, with the drain of transistor 2 connected to the source of transistor 4. By rearranging these transistors to have their sources face each other, T3 and T4 could correspond respectively to transistors 2 and 30 of FIG. 1, which have their sources connected together. Similarly, rearranging T1 and T2 so that either their sources or their drains faced each other would allow these transistors to correspond to parallel-connected N-channel transistors 12 and 14 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view through region A of FIG. 4; a sectional view through region B would look the same. In region A a P field implant 58 extends between D1 and S2. A common field oxide layer 60 and underlying P field implant 62 surround the outer transistor edges.
FIG. 6 shows region C between transistors T1 and T2, including a field oxide layer 64 extending between D1 and S2. FIG. 6 illustrates the case of an N+ buried layer 66 underlying the field oxide 64 and providing an electrical connection between D1 and S2, as in FIG. 2a. A P field implant, below field oxide 64, as in FIG. 2b, would together with the field oxide inhibit current flow between D1 and S2.
FIG. 7 shows a sectional view through region C taken at right angles to the view of FIG. 6. From FIG. 7 it can be seen that the field oxide 64 in region C forms steps with respect to the substrate surface at its boundaries with the P field implant 62, which extends up to the substrate surface in regions A and B since no field oxide is present in these regions. From FIG. 6 it can be seen that the region C field oxide 64 forms steps with respect to the substrate surface at its boundaries with D1 and S2. Thus, region C is completely bounded by steps which camouflage the presence or absence of an N+ buried conductive layer connecting D1 with S2.
Although region C is shown as a single region that is symmetrically positioned with respect to the transistors T1 and T2, other configurations could be employed as long as the regions through which any connections are made between D1 and S2 are bounded by steps in the substrate to inhibit reverse engineering. For example, region C could be divided into multiple areas, each with a field oxide and mutually separated by P field implants without field oxides. Region C could also be extended along the full widths of the transistors if the field oxide is removed from the immediately adjacent portions of the substrate surrounding the transistors.
FIG. 8 is a sectional view through region F and transistors T3 and T4, showing the similar structure for the P-channel transistors. A field oxide 68 is formed in region F, with either a buried conductive P+ implant 70 connecting D3 and S4 below the field oxide, or an N field implant (not shown) that cooperates with field oxide 68 to inhibit current flow between D3 and S4. An N field implant 70 is provided below the field oxide layer 72 in the N-well 56 surrounding T3 and T4.
The preferred sequence to fabricate the IC structure described above is to first form a mask on the substrate surface, typically consisting of a layer of Si3 N4 over a layer of SiO2, to expose the field implant areas. The field implants which underlie the later conventional field oxide layer and also establish the regions A, B, D and E of FIG. 4 are then performed; boron is typically used for a P field implant for regions A and B, and arsenic or phosphorous for an N field implant for regions D and E. The implants are preferably performed with a flood beam, although older diffusion techniques or a focused ion beam could also be used. The field implants are typically made to a depth of about 0.2 to 0.6 microns, with a dopant concentration on the order of 1018 atoms/cm3 or higher.
After the field implants have been completed, a new mask is laid down to expose the areas intended for the buried conductive layers, such as layer 66 in FIG. 6 or 70 in FIG. 8. The conductive layers are then implanted, typically to a depth of about 0.5 to 2.0 microns and a doping concentration on the order of 1019 atoms/cm3 or higher. The regions C and F of FIG. 4 would be implanted at this time if conductive interconnects between their respective transistors are desired; blocking field implants would have been provided in the previous implant step if interconnections were not desired. For both the blocking field implants and the conductive buried layer implants, separate masks would be provided and separate implants performed for the N-channel and P-channel devices.
The field oxide layers are next grown using a standard LOCOS process, followed by the formation of thin gate oxide layers (typically about 100-150 Angstroms thick for a 0.5 micron channel length) over the transistor areas exposed by the field oxide, and then the deposit of polysilicon over the entire substrate surface and an etch removal of the polysilicon except from the desired gate areas. Finally, source and drain implants are performed using the field oxide and gates as masks so that they are self-aligned with the source and drain implants. A separate mask would be provided over areas A, B, D and E of FIG. 4 to prevent the dopant from penetrating the substrate in these areas.
To reduce any disruption of the standard CMOS fabrication process, the insulative field implants and conductive buried layer implants associated with the new camouflage technique are preferably performed after the well drive-in and before the growth of field oxide to prevent the high-temperatures associated with the well drive-in from affecting the concentration profile of the dopant implants.
The insulative field implant has a doping concentration that is higher than the doping concentration of the bulk of the substrate or the well in which it is set, but less than the source and drain doping concentration. With the substrate bulk and well having a doping concentration on the order of 1015 to 1016 atoms/cm3 and the source/drain implants having a doping concentration on the order of 1019 to 1020 atoms/cm3, a typical field implant concentration of about 1018 atoms/cm3 produces an overall resistivity that is roughly five times greater than the resistivity of the source/drain implants (the resistivity will actually vary over the volume of the implants, since the doping concentrations are typically lighter towards the bottoms of the implants than towards their tops). This concentration differential prevents an excessive reduction in the breakdown voltage between the two adjacent transistors, and allows the field implants to perform an insulating function between adjacent transistors.
FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 6, but with the buried layer 66 between the drain D1 of transistor T1 and the source S2 of transistor T2 doped P and indicated by reference number 66'; all other elements of FIG. 9 are the same as in FIG. 6. This implements a camouflaged electrical isolation between the two transistors of the type illustrated in FIG. 2b. As in FIG. 2b, the insulating buried layer 66' is doped P at a doping concentration greater than the P-doping concentration of the substrate 54. Insulating buried layer 66' is disposed within the substrate immediately below the electrically insulating field oxide layer 64 and extends between the regions D1 and S2 of transistors T1 and T2 between which the electrically insulating layer 64 extends. As in FIG. 6, insulating layer 64 forms respective steps, relative to the substrate surface, between the buried layer 66' and the transistor regions between which it extends. The insulating layer 64 together with the buried layer 66' inhibits current flow between the transistor regions D1 and S2.
FIG. 10 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 7, but conforming to FIG. 9 by showing the P doped buried layer 66' below the field oxide insulating layer 64.
FIG. 11 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 8, but with the buried layer 70 between the drain D3 of transistor T3 and the source S4 of transistor T4 doped N and indicated by reference number 70'; all other elements of FIG. 11 are the same as in FIG. 8. The transistors T3 and T4 are still set within the N- well 56, whose doping conductivity is opposite to the P- primary conductivity of the substrate 54. As in the camouflaged electrical isolation of FIG. 2b, the doping concentration of buried layer 70' is greater than that of the circuit region established by the well 56.
The buried layer 70' is disposed within the substrate immediately below the electrically insulating field oxide layer 68 and extends between the same transistor regions D3 and S4 as the insulating layer 68. The insulating layer 68 forms respective steps, relative to the substrate surface, between the buried layer 70' and the transistor regions between which it extends and, together with the buried layer 70', inhibits current flow between the transistor regions D3 and S4.
In another embodiment shown in FIG. 12, the two right-hand transistors T3 and T4 of FIG. 4 are replaced by a pair of transistors T1' and T2' that can be identical to transistors T1 and T2 of FIG. 4, except for the conductivity of the buried layer between T1' and T2'. In FIG. 12 the corresponding elements of T1', T2' and T1, T2 are indicated by the same reference numbers as in FIG. 4, with a switch from "3" and "4" to "1", and "2" and the addition of a prime to the elements of T1' and T2'. A sectional view of T1' and T2' would correspond to FIG. 9, with the buried layer 66' doped to the conductivity of the substrate 54 but at a concentration greater than the substrate doping concentration to electrically isolate from each other the transistor regions D1 and S2' which bound the electrically insulating field oxide layer 64.
Another embodiment illustrated in FIG. 13 has both transistor pairs within the well 56 of FIG. 4. Transistors T3 and T4 are the same as in FIGS. 4 and 8, while transistors T1 and T2 have been replaced by transistors T3' and T4' which can be identical to transistors T3 and T4, except for the buried layer which extends between them being doped N to inhibit current flow between the two transistors. The elements of transistors T3', T4' which correspond to the elements of T3, T4 are identified by the same reference numbers with the addition of a prime. Thus, transistors T3' and T4' would have the structure illustrated in FIG. 11 with the buried layer 70' doped N, the same doping conductivity as the well 56, to electrically isolate the transistor regions D3' and S4' which bound the insulating field oxide layer 68 from each other.
While several illustrative embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, numerous variations and alternate embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. Such variations and alternate embodiments are contemplated, and can be made without departing the from spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3946426 *||Sep 6, 1974||Mar 23, 1976||Harris Corporation||Interconnect system for integrated circuits|
|US4139864 *||Jan 14, 1976||Feb 13, 1979||Schulman Lawrence S||Security system for a solid state device|
|US4164461 *||May 12, 1978||Aug 14, 1979||Raytheon Company||Semiconductor integrated circuit structures and manufacturing methods|
|US4267578 *||Aug 26, 1974||May 12, 1981||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Calculator system with anti-theft feature|
|US4291391 *||Sep 14, 1979||Sep 22, 1981||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Taper isolated random access memory array and method of operating|
|US4295897 *||Oct 3, 1979||Oct 20, 1981||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Method of making CMOS integrated circuit device|
|US4314268 *||May 31, 1979||Feb 2, 1982||Nippon Electric Co., Ltd.||Integrated circuit with shielded lead patterns|
|US4317273 *||Nov 13, 1979||Mar 2, 1982||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Method of making high coupling ratio DMOS electrically programmable ROM|
|US4374454 *||Dec 22, 1980||Feb 22, 1983||U.S. Philips Corporation||Method of manufacturing a semiconductor device|
|US4435895 *||Apr 5, 1982||Mar 13, 1984||Bell Telephone Laboratories, Incorporated||Process for forming complementary integrated circuit devices|
|US4471376 *||Jan 14, 1981||Sep 11, 1984||Harris Corporation||Amorphous devices and interconnect system and method of fabrication|
|US4581628 *||Sep 27, 1982||Apr 8, 1986||Hitachi, Ltd.||Circuit programming by use of an electrically conductive light shield|
|US4583011 *||Nov 1, 1983||Apr 15, 1986||Standard Microsystems Corp.||Circuit to prevent pirating of an MOS circuit|
|US4603381 *||Jun 30, 1982||Jul 29, 1986||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Use of implant process for programming ROM type processor for encryption|
|US4623255 *||Oct 13, 1983||Nov 18, 1986||The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator, National Aeronautics And Space Administration||Method of examining microcircuit patterns|
|US4727493 *||May 4, 1984||Feb 23, 1988||Integrated Logic Systems, Inc.||Integrated circuit architecture and fabrication method therefor|
|US4766516 *||Sep 24, 1987||Aug 23, 1988||Hughes Aircraft Company||Method and apparatus for securing integrated circuits from unauthorized copying and use|
|US4799096 *||Jun 3, 1987||Jan 17, 1989||Siemens Aktiengesellschaft||Monolithic integrated circuit comprising circuit branches parallel to one another|
|US4821085 *||May 1, 1985||Apr 11, 1989||Texas Instruments Incorporated||VLSI local interconnect structure|
|US4830974 *||Jan 11, 1988||May 16, 1989||Atmel Corporation||EPROM fabrication process|
|US4975756 *||Feb 28, 1989||Dec 4, 1990||Texas Instruments Incorporated||SRAM with local interconnect|
|US5030796 *||Aug 11, 1989||Jul 9, 1991||Rockwell International Corporation||Reverse-engineering resistant encapsulant for microelectric device|
|US5050123 *||Nov 13, 1990||Sep 17, 1991||Intel Corporation||Radiation shield for EPROM cells|
|US5061978 *||Mar 15, 1990||Oct 29, 1991||Canon Kabushiki Kaisha||Semiconductor photosensing device with light shield|
|US5065208 *||Feb 20, 1990||Nov 12, 1991||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Integrated bipolar and CMOS transistor with titanium nitride interconnections|
|US5068697 *||Jul 17, 1990||Nov 26, 1991||Sony Corporation||Semiconductor memory which is protected from erasure by light shields|
|US5070378 *||Mar 28, 1991||Dec 3, 1991||Nec Corporation||Eprom erasable by uv radiation having redundant circuit|
|US5101121 *||Jan 8, 1991||Mar 31, 1992||Sgs Thomson Microelectronics S.A.||Security locks for integrated circuit|
|US5117276 *||Nov 8, 1990||May 26, 1992||Fairchild Camera And Instrument Corp.||High performance interconnect system for an integrated circuit|
|US5132571 *||Aug 1, 1990||Jul 21, 1992||Actel Corporation||Programmable interconnect architecture having interconnects disposed above function modules|
|US5138197 *||May 22, 1991||Aug 11, 1992||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba||Address decoder array composed of CMOS|
|US5146117 *||Apr 1, 1991||Sep 8, 1992||Hughes Aircraft Company||Convertible multi-function microelectronic logic gate structure and method of fabricating the same|
|US5168340 *||Oct 12, 1990||Dec 1, 1992||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Semiconductor integrated circuit device with guardring regions to prevent the formation of an MOS diode|
|US5202591 *||Aug 9, 1991||Apr 13, 1993||Hughes Aircraft Company||Dynamic circuit disguise for microelectronic integrated digital logic circuits|
|US5227649 *||Mar 6, 1992||Jul 13, 1993||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Circuit layout and method for VLSI circuits having local interconnects|
|US5231299 *||Mar 24, 1992||Jul 27, 1993||International Business Machines Corporation||Structure and fabrication method for EEPROM memory cell with selective channel implants|
|US5302539 *||May 29, 1990||Apr 12, 1994||Texas Instruments Incorporated||VLSI interconnect method and structure|
|US5308682 *||Oct 1, 1992||May 3, 1994||Nec Corporation||Alignment check pattern for multi-level interconnection|
|US5309015 *||Oct 26, 1992||May 3, 1994||Hitachi, Ltd.||Clock wiring and semiconductor integrated circuit device having the same|
|US5336624 *||Dec 7, 1992||Aug 9, 1994||Hughes Aircraft Company||Method for disguising a microelectronic integrated digital logic|
|US5354704 *||Jul 28, 1993||Oct 11, 1994||United Microelectronics Corporation||Symmetric SRAM cell with buried N+ local interconnection line|
|US5369299 *||Jul 22, 1993||Nov 29, 1994||National Semiconductor Corporation||Tamper resistant integrated circuit structure|
|US5371390 *||Nov 4, 1992||Dec 6, 1994||Aptix Corporation||Interconnect substrate with circuits for field-programmability and testing of multichip modules and hybrid circuits|
|US5376577 *||Jun 30, 1994||Dec 27, 1994||Micron Semiconductor, Inc.||Method of forming a low resistive current path between a buried contact and a diffusion region|
|US5384472 *||Aug 26, 1993||Jan 24, 1995||Aspec Technology, Inc.||Symmetrical multi-layer metal logic array with continuous substrate taps and extension portions for increased gate density|
|US5399441 *||Apr 12, 1994||Mar 21, 1995||Dow Corning Corporation||Method of applying opaque coatings|
|US5441902 *||Sep 2, 1993||Aug 15, 1995||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Method for making channel stop structure for CMOS devices|
|US5468990 *||Jul 22, 1993||Nov 21, 1995||National Semiconductor Corp.||Structures for preventing reverse engineering of integrated circuits|
|US5475251 *||May 31, 1994||Dec 12, 1995||National Semiconductor Corporation||Secure non-volatile memory cell|
|US5539224 *||Jun 23, 1994||Jul 23, 1996||Fujitsu Limited||Semiconductor device having unit circuit-blocks in a common chip as a first layer with electrical interconnections therebetween provided exclusively in a second, upper, interconnection layer formed on the first layer|
|US5721150 *||Mar 12, 1996||Feb 24, 1998||Lsi Logic Corporation||Use of silicon for integrated circuit device interconnection by direct writing of patterns therein|
|US5783846 *||Sep 22, 1995||Jul 21, 1998||Hughes Electronics Corporation||Digital circuit with transistor geometry and channel stops providing camouflage against reverse engineering|
|FR2486717A1 *||Title not available|
|JPH0246762A *||Title not available|
|JPH0428092A *||Title not available|
|JPH02237038A *||Title not available|
|JPS58190064A *||Title not available|
|JPS63129647A *||Title not available|
|1||Frederiksen, Thomas M. "Intuitive CMOS Electronics" McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1989, pp. 134-145.|
|2||*||Frederiksen, Thomas M. Intuitive CMOS Electronics McGraw Hill Publishing Co., 1989, pp. 134 145.|
|3||Lee, "Engineering a Device for Electron-beam Probing", IEEE Design & Test of Computers, 1989, pp. 36-49.|
|4||*||Lee, Engineering a Device for Electron beam Probing , IEEE Design & Test of Computers , 1989, pp. 36 49.|
|5||*||U.S. application No. 07/278,889, Crafts, filed Dec. 2, 1988.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US6211014 *||Apr 14, 1998||Apr 3, 2001||United Microelectronics Corp.||Three-dimensional, deep-trench, high-density read-only memory (ROM) and its manufacturing method|
|US6613661||Jun 29, 2000||Sep 2, 2003||Hughes Electronics Corporation||Process for fabricating secure integrated circuit|
|US6667245||Dec 13, 2001||Dec 23, 2003||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||CMOS-compatible MEM switches and method of making|
|US6734075 *||May 19, 1999||May 11, 2004||Mitsumi Electric Co., Ltd.||CMOS device having high-density resistance elements|
|US6740942 *||Jun 15, 2001||May 25, 2004||Hrl Laboratories, Llc.||Permanently on transistor implemented using a double polysilicon layer CMOS process with buried contact|
|US6774413 *||Jun 15, 2001||Aug 10, 2004||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Integrated circuit structure with programmable connector/isolator|
|US6791191||Jan 24, 2001||Sep 14, 2004||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Integrated circuits protected against reverse engineering and method for fabricating the same using vias without metal terminations|
|US6815816||Oct 25, 2000||Nov 9, 2004||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Implanted hidden interconnections in a semiconductor device for preventing reverse engineering|
|US6893916||Jul 14, 2003||May 17, 2005||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Programmable connector/isolator and double polysilicon layer CMOS process with buried contact using the same|
|US6897535||May 14, 2003||May 24, 2005||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Integrated circuit with reverse engineering protection|
|US6919600||Feb 26, 2004||Jul 19, 2005||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Permanently on transistor implemented using a double polysilicon layer CMOS process with buried contact|
|US6924552||Oct 14, 2003||Aug 2, 2005||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Multilayered integrated circuit with extraneous conductive traces|
|US6979606||Aug 7, 2003||Dec 27, 2005||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Use of silicon block process step to camouflage a false transistor|
|US7008873||Mar 23, 2005||Mar 7, 2006||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Integrated circuit with reverse engineering protection|
|US7166515 *||Apr 24, 2002||Jan 23, 2007||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Implanted hidden interconnections in a semiconductor device for preventing reverse engineering|
|US7199410 *||Dec 13, 2000||Apr 3, 2007||Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (Belgium) Bvba||Pixel structure with improved charge transfer|
|US7253019||Nov 9, 2004||Aug 7, 2007||Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (Belgium) Bvba||Buried, fully depletable, high fill factor photodiodes|
|US7294935||Jan 24, 2001||Nov 13, 2007||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Integrated circuits protected against reverse engineering and method for fabricating the same using an apparent metal contact line terminating on field oxide|
|US7514755 *||Dec 12, 2003||Apr 7, 2009||Hrl Laboratories Llc||Integrated circuit modification using well implants|
|US7541266 *||Feb 22, 2007||Jun 2, 2009||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Covert transformation of transistor properties as a circuit protection method|
|US7732321||May 4, 2005||Jun 8, 2010||Nds Limited||Method for shielding integrated circuits|
|US7750958||Mar 1, 2006||Jul 6, 2010||Cypress Semiconductor Corporation||Pixel structure|
|US7808022||Mar 28, 2006||Oct 5, 2010||Cypress Semiconductor Corporation||Cross talk reduction|
|US7888213||Mar 14, 2006||Feb 15, 2011||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Conductive channel pseudo block process and circuit to inhibit reverse engineering|
|US7935603||May 29, 2007||May 3, 2011||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Symmetric non-intrusive and covert technique to render a transistor permanently non-operable|
|US8049281||Dec 3, 2010||Nov 1, 2011||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Symmetric non-intrusive and covert technique to render a transistor permanently non-operable|
|US8111089||May 24, 2010||Feb 7, 2012||Syphermedia International, Inc.||Building block for a secure CMOS logic cell library|
|US8151235||Feb 24, 2009||Apr 3, 2012||Syphermedia International, Inc.||Camouflaging a standard cell based integrated circuit|
|US8168487||Sep 13, 2007||May 1, 2012||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Programmable connection and isolation of active regions in an integrated circuit using ambiguous features to confuse a reverse engineer|
|US8258583||Nov 18, 2010||Sep 4, 2012||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Conductive channel pseudo block process and circuit to inhibit reverse engineering|
|US8418091||Oct 13, 2009||Apr 9, 2013||Syphermedia International, Inc.||Method and apparatus for camouflaging a standard cell based integrated circuit|
|US8476567||Sep 22, 2008||Jul 2, 2013||Semiconductor Components Industries, Llc||Active pixel with precharging circuit|
|US8524553 *||Mar 6, 2009||Sep 3, 2013||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Integrated circuit modification using well implants|
|US8564073||Mar 16, 2012||Oct 22, 2013||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Programmable connection and isolation of active regions in an integrated circuit using ambiguous features to confuse a reverse engineer|
|US8679908||Oct 31, 2007||Mar 25, 2014||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Use of silicide block process to camouflage a false transistor|
|US9355199||Mar 7, 2013||May 31, 2016||Syphermedia International, Inc.||Method and apparatus for camouflaging a standard cell based integrated circuit|
|US9479176 *||Nov 25, 2014||Oct 25, 2016||Rambus Inc.||Methods and circuits for protecting integrated circuits from reverse engineering|
|US9542520||Jul 12, 2013||Jan 10, 2017||Syphermedia International, Inc.||Method and apparatus for camouflaging a standard cell based integrated circuit with micro circuits and post processing|
|US20010011736 *||Dec 13, 2000||Aug 9, 2001||Bart Dierickx||Pixel structure with improved charge transfer|
|US20020096776 *||Jan 24, 2001||Jul 25, 2002||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Integrated circuits protected against reverse engineering and method for fabricating the same using an apparent metal contact line terminating on field oxide|
|US20020192878 *||Jun 15, 2001||Dec 19, 2002||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Programmable connector/isolator and double polysilicon layer CMOS process with buried contact using the same|
|US20030214002 *||May 14, 2003||Nov 20, 2003||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Integrated circuit with reverse engineering protection|
|US20040012067 *||Jul 14, 2003||Jan 22, 2004||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Programmable connector/isolator and double polysilicon layer CMOS process with buried contact using the same|
|US20040061186 *||Aug 5, 2003||Apr 1, 2004||Lap-Wai Chow||Conductive channel pseudo block process and circuit to inhibit reverse engineering|
|US20040099912 *||Aug 7, 2003||May 27, 2004||Hrl Laboratories, Llc.||Use of silicon block process step to camouflage a false transistor|
|US20040119165 *||Oct 14, 2003||Jun 24, 2004||Baukus James P.||Multilayered integrated circuit with extraneous conductive traces|
|US20040164361 *||Feb 26, 2004||Aug 26, 2004||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Permanently on transistor implemented using a double polysilicon layer CMOS process with buried contact|
|US20050064617 *||Nov 9, 2004||Mar 24, 2005||Bart Dierickx||Buried, fully depletable, high fill factor photodiodes|
|US20060157803 *||Mar 14, 2006||Jul 20, 2006||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Conductive channel pseudo block process and circuit to inhibit reverse engineering|
|US20060289941 *||Jun 22, 2006||Dec 28, 2006||Infineon Technologies Ag||Transistor component|
|US20070145503 *||Feb 16, 2007||Jun 28, 2007||Bart Dierickx||Pixel structure with improved charge transfer|
|US20090170255 *||Mar 6, 2009||Jul 2, 2009||Hrl Laboratories, Llc||Integrated circuit modification using well implants|
|US20100213974 *||Feb 24, 2009||Aug 26, 2010||SypherMedia Interational, Inc.,||Method and apparatus for camouflaging a printed circuit board|
|US20100218158 *||Oct 13, 2009||Aug 26, 2010||Syphermedia International, Inc.||Method and apparatus for camouflaging a standard cell based integrated circuit|
|US20100301903 *||May 24, 2010||Dec 2, 2010||Syphermedia International, Inc.||Building block for a secure cmos logic cell library|
|U.S. Classification||257/399, 257/E21.538, 438/298, 257/648, 257/E27.009|
|International Classification||H01L21/74, H01L27/02|
|Cooperative Classification||H01L27/02, H01L21/743, H01L2924/0002|
|European Classification||H01L21/74B, H01L27/02|
|Jun 6, 1997||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HUGHES ELECTRONICS, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BAUKUS, JAMES P.;CHOW, LAP-WAI;CLARK, WILLIAM M., JR.;REEL/FRAME:008605/0236
Effective date: 19970516
|Mar 12, 1998||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HUGHES ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HE HOLDINGS INC., DBA HUGHES ELECTRONICS, FORMERLY KNOWN AS HUGHES AIRCRAFT COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:008927/0928
Effective date: 19971217
|Apr 25, 2003||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Apr 26, 2007||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Apr 26, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12